London Cycling Campaign in Hackney

Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, January 9th , 2013, 7:30pm

Marcon Court and Aspland Estates Community Hall

Present: Siobhan Blackshaw (rides co-ordinator), Andy Guise, Katie Hanson, Richard Lewis (newsletter editor and streetscape design adviser), David Harris (treasurer and local news editor), Trevor Parsons (co-ordinator), Brenda Puech (events co-ordinator), Oliver Schick (secretary, minutes), Vincent Stops.

Apologies: Michael Cordy, David Lukes.

Draft agenda:

1. Minutes and matters arising
2. Burns Night
3. Mare Street refuge
4. Canal & River Trust Greenways bid
5. Shoreditch Phase II
6. Census 2011 results
7. Rides and other events
8. Any other business


 

1. Minutes and matters arising

Broadway Market awareness-raising: Action carried over, to be planned at the next meeting.

Air quality: DL had pursued this but there had not been action over the Christmas break.

Cycle parking at Stoke Newington Station: TP reported back from seeing Streetscene officers about the scheme to increase cycle parking at the station. This is a challenging location with many design constraints. Members of the Stoke Newington User Group were unhappy about the original proposal, which would have removed both of the existing brick planters in order to free space for cycle parking. The engineers had amended the design to leave one planter in place, while adding three trees in new planters next to the footway. This design would theoretically have provided a total of 30 cycle parking spaces.

As reported at our December meeting, we had submitted comments on the amended design, pointing out a problem with the proposed layout of Sheffield stands that would have made about onethird of them unusable in practice. We had also suggested a flexible alternative design using Plantlocks together with additional locking points attached to the remaining brick planter and one of the new tree planters to provide a total of 24 cycle parking spaces while increasing the amount of greenery on the station forecourt.

Officers had considered our Plantlock-based alternative, but decided to proceed with their Sheffield stand-based design, albeit with the number of stands reduced in order to permit correct, useable spacing.

Old Street/City Road junction: OS attended the December ICAG meeting. ICAG members were broadly in favour of our proposal to return the junction to a crossroads layout. They asked us to provide copy for a letter to local newspapers, which OS did. Action: OS to check with ICAG whether the letter had been sent to the Islington/Hackney Gazette. RL to draw up alternative designs and to have them professionally visualised. The meeting agreed to get a quote for an illustration and to ask ICAG to match our contribution to funding.

Vision for Shoreditch: Action carried over.

Leonard Square: Things are looking promising for the Council’s innovative shared space scheme, with the recent public consultation attracting positive feedback, including from frontagers.

20mph motion: Action carried over.

Development management plan: Action carried over.

Ponsford Street/Homerton High Street: The minutes of our December meeting should be corrected to show that the demonstration will only take place if TfL decides to proceed with the option opposed by both ourselves and Hackney Living Streets. Action: We will monitor this and mobilise if necessary. OS to correct minutes.

Two-way Day anniversary: We did not organise a commemorative event, but our winter newsletter reminded members of the tenth anniversary of the streets of Shoreditch going back to (mostly) two-way, and of the need to campaign for the long-delayed second phase.

2. Burns Night
BP had continued to investigate venues for Burns Night in Hackney but had not been successful. It had proved impossible to find a venue with a kitchen. We then made a decision to organise an event at Limehouse Town Hall. Its capacity is about 100 people.
We had also had an offer of external catering, but decided for simplicity’s sake to proceed with a dance-only event. The Temporary Event Notice had been organised. We decided to open the doors at 8, with the dancing to start at 9, to continue until late. We still needed someone to organise and run the bar. SB volunteered to help with this. We needed to sell 50 tickets to cover our costs, which we were confident we’d be able to do even at short notice. Full-price tickets would be £15 and concessions £10. We decided to contribute a proportion of the evening’s proceeds to the Wheelers’ workshop if they need it. Actions: BP to continue to co-ordinate preparations, at her discretion. SB to ask Adam Thompson to help with the bar further. RL to speak to Vegan Peasant Catering regarding snacks. TP to take care of ticket sales and publicity.

3. Mare Street refuge
OS introduced this item. This was a scheme we had previously looked at and commented on. We had received an additional query about a particular detail concerning lane widths. The question was whether we would prefer a lane layout of 3.5m for the nearside lane and 3m for the offside lane or the other way around. Neither of these options were ideal, as 3.5m was within the so-called ‘critical range’ of lane widths and was not favourable to cycle traffic. 3m in width was not a good option, either, but caused somewhat fewer instances of close overtaking. In view of this, we could not honestly say that we supported either option very strongly. We would advocate not installing a central median (as we had commented before) and to install wide kerb lanes of 4.5m in width (the additional 2m required would be taken up by the width of the median there. BP commented that Hackney Living Streets had likewise opposed the median.
We also noted that signal timings further up at the Mare Street/Morning Lane junction, with its split-phase arrangement, were still quite unfavourable to northbound cyclists. Actions: OS to submit a response.

4. Canal & River Trust Greenways bid
The meeting noted that the Canal & River Trust
is submitting a bid for funding to implement better routes parallel to the Regent’s Canal in the Hackney and especially the Islington areas to reduce towpath congestion by enhancing east-west connectivity for cycling on alignments parallel to the canal. TP had spoken about it on BBC London News. TP and OS were going to meet with the Canal & River Trust on the 16th January to go through the details.
Some individual potential schemes were discussed, such as signalising the crossing of New North Road between Penn Street and Eagle Wharf Road, and linking the towpath to the carriageways at Dunston Road and Regent’s Row. Since C&RT’s bid to TfL appears to be in line with the package of measures which we advocate, including permeability improvements, area filtering, convenient crossings of main streets, and improved connections to and from the towpathrather than the old British Waterways proposal for a single (and we think unfeasible) parallel routewe resolved to support it.

5. Shoreditch Phase II
RL and TP had re-investigated the Shoreditch Triangle to note which barriers to two-way movement remained. When the Triangle was partially returned to two-way operation in 2002/3, Shoreditch High Street was not made fully two-way, which caused Curtain Road to remain one-way, and the right turn from Great Eastern Street to Pitfield Street was introduced to ‘relieve’ potential congestion on the Inner Ring Road. That congestion never occurred. We were told at the time that these issues would be left for Phase II. This phase has never happened. RL had drawn up some draft suggested designs to get the ball rolling.
Action: RL to circulate the draft drawings to the lccih-eng list for discussion.

6. Census 2011 results
We noted and discussed the very surprising and welcome census finding that car ownership in Hackney was the third-lowest in the country (after the City and Islington). After rising to 44% in 2001 compared to 40% in the 1991 census, it had actually fallen below the 1991 level again. There were now around 3-4,000 fewer cars owned in the borough.
TP mentioned that we had discussed the Hackney Transport Strategy with officers. One of the suggestions in play had been motor vehicle parking reduction targets. Reducing on-street parking in favour of other desirable uses of the space, including re-introduction of two-way working, at least for cycle traffic; playspaces; and areas of planting designed to reduce flooding during heavy rains.

7. Rides and other events
SB announced
a ride to the Thames Barrier on the 19th January.

8. Any other business
None was raised.
The meeting closed at 10pm.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 6th February, 2013, 7:30pm.

   Minutes of Hackney LCC meeting 9th January 2013 in PDF